The Arabian Horse

The oldest purebred horse, the magnificent Arabian, which starred in The Black Stallion, has played a key role in human history and the development of our intimate relationship with the horse. Distinguished by their narrow, delicate faces with large nostrils and a teacup muzzle, the Arabian's lineage dates back to at least 500 B.C. It played a key role in the survival of the Bedouin tribes, who often swept out of the desert to raid more settled people. The Bedouins also wagered vast sums on horse races, which played a crucial cultural and economic role. The Arabian became the mainstay of a succession of empires stretching back some ,500 years, including the Egyptians, Hurrians, Hittites, Kassites, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians. The prophet Mohammed in A.D. 600 was talking about the Arabian when he taught that “every man shall love his horse.” And the grace and character of the breed totally charmed Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded the Middle East in 1798.